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Greg Goodwiller

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About Greg Goodwiller

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    Professional Registered Parliamentarian
  • Birthday 10/29/1960

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    Oxford, MS

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  1. But pay close attention to my colleague's assumptions: all members are present, and all choose to vote. If only three vote in favor, but only one against, it has a two-thirds vote, but not a majority of the entire membership.
  2. The Robert's Rules standard is that a vote of the majority of those present and voting is required for a motion to be adopted. If the vote was 2 in favor and 2 against, a majority did not approve the motion, and it failed to be adopted.
  3. Just be sure you keep reading onto the next page. bylaw amendments can be amended by a simple majority vote without notice so long as the proposed amendment is not greater in scope than the original proposed amendment that was noticed to the body. And then of course, the amendment "as amended" would still require the 2/3 vote that your bylaws require for amendment.
  4. RONR provides that officers of an organization (which is what I would interpret your "appointed" board member to be) can be removed from office in a couple of ways. If the bylaws provde that the term is "for ___ years or until their successor is elected," then they can be replaced by a motion to elect a successor (it requres a 2/3 vote, or previous notice and a majority vote of the appointing/electing body). However, if the bylaws simply say that they are elected for __ years, or if they say "for ___ years and until the election of their successor," then they can only be removed by a disciplinary process (the steps for which are defined beginning on pg. 654 in RONR). I would also note, though, that in the section on executive session, RONR specifically states that "a member of a society can be punished under disciplinary procedure if he violates the secrecy of an executive session (RONR pg. 96, ll. 6-7). You you appear to have "cause" to proceed in that direction if you so choose.
  5. I'm not sure why you say that voice vote elections are "improper." RONR doesn't say that. It specifically defines them on pg. 442, l. 10 - pg. 443, l. 6. It then goes on to say that if only one person is nominated, a voice vote is not taken. But not that voice vote elections themselves are improper.
  6. Rebecca: There's a fair amount here to unpack. Robert's Rules says: Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session, only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees, and such employees or staff as the body or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall (RONR pg. 95, ll. 31-35)."Non-voting members" are still members, and unless your bylaws say otherwise, would be allowed to remain when the board is in executive session. The motion to go into executive session would require a second, and a majority vote of the board (again, unless your bylaws say otherwise - for instance, some bylaws state that all personnel matters are handled in executive session).
  7. But Robert's does support the use of "unanimous consent" as a means of moving business along when the chair perceives that there is no serious objection to a matter. As an example of how to do it, RONR says (pg. 55, ll. 34-36) "CHAIR: Is there any objection to the member's time being extended two minutes? . . . [pause]. The chair hears no objection, and it is so ordered." The difference between "unanimous consent" and a more general attempt to settle matters by "consensus decision making" is that when a chair seeks unanimous consent, if any member does object, the question is then stated for the body's consideration in the regular way, subject to the usual rules.
  8. First of all, I would suggest that "smelling of alcohol" and "under the influence" are not necessarily the same thing. But that said, standards for the conduct of board members are certainly a proper topic for consideration by the board - particularly in the form of bylaw provisions. On the other hand, one member of the board - even if an elected officer of the board - does not have the right to impose their personal standards of conduct on other members.
  9. To answer this question fully, I would need to see what your bylaws say about this "legal committee," and the bounds of its authority, as well as the authority of your board. Here is what the current edition of Robert's Rules says about contested elections: Because the voting body itself is the ultimate judge of election disputes, only that body has the authority to resolve them in the absence of a bylaw or special rule of order that specifically grants another body that authority. Thus, for example, when an election has been conducted at a membership meeting or in a convention of delegates, an executive board, even one that is given full power and authority over the society's affairs between meetings of the body that conducted the election, may not entertain a point of order challenging, or direct a recount concerning, the announced election result. While an election dispute is immediately pending before the voting body, however, it may vote to refer the dispute to a committee or board to which it delegates power to resolve the dispute (RONR pg. 446, ll. 4 - 17).
  10. Professional Registered Parliamentarian

  11. To be a bit more specific, Robert's Rules says (beginning on pg. 424, l. 4), "A vote by mail, when authorized in the bylaws, is generally reserved for important issues, such as an amendment to the bylaws or an election of officers - on which a full vote of the membership is desirable even though only a small fraction of the members normally attend meetings. . . If the vote is not to be secret, the following items should be sent to each qualified voter: 1) a printed ballot . . . 2) a specially recognizable, self-addressed return envelope . . . E-mail and other means of electronic communication can be tailored to comply with these requirements." The most important first ingredient is that such voting must be authorized in the organization's bylaws. What is also exceedingly important is that e-mail not be used as a means of debate - since it does not provide an opportunity for simultaneous, aural communication. Voting, yes. Debate prior to voting, no.
  12. Ok. So are you saying that such a motion should be ruled out of order? If not, then would the motion to arrest have to be reconsidered and voted down in order to resume the examination, or could it simply be moved to continue the examination (assuming the vote on membership had not yet been taken)?
  13. Interesting. As I said, there are regional traditions in our church. That isn't constitutional language. After the examination was arrested, it says "Moderator Barr invited and received a MOTION to SUSTAIN THE EXAMINATION, which was approved unanimously." So I will at least stand by my previous post that "arresting the examination" does not mean approving it. It just means to cease examining. Thanks.
  14. Well, I certainly deal with a good many who aren't . . .
  15. Some of my colleagues may not appreciate this response, but I'm going to offer it anyway . . . Small boards often cannot afford the luxury of giving up a voting member in order for that member to serve as the board's parliamentarian. In that case, the organization can adopt a special rule of order stating that the parliamentarian may engage in debate, make motions, and vote on all matters no matter by what method the vote is taken. Special rules of order "trump" RONR. There is clearly good reasoning behind RONR's rules about the role of parliamentarians. But if it is the will of the body that its parliamentarian participate fully in meetings, the body has the right to make that determination.
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